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What Are You Reading Currently? [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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Children of Dust by Ali Eteraz

 

Have you read his satirical essay called "My Dear Hijabi Sisters"? It became popular but quite controversial. Among other things, it also explains why Muslim men, ironically, are so liable to stare at hijabi women.

 

Click HERE to read it.

 

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Have you read his satirical essay called "My Dear Hijabi Sisters"? It became popular but quite controversial. Among other things, it also explains why Muslim men, ironically, are so liable to stare at hijabi women.

 

Click HERE to read it.

 

Well, that's a little creepy. I got from his book that he is a bit of a pervert because I had to skip over some parts!

Edited by Fatima Hussain

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Lord Jim of Conrad turned out to be such a bore that I'm finding it hard to finish it. I'll probably let it rest and pick up after some time. And I read a couple of chapters from the Humphreys book about the primary sources from where earliest scribes derived their history. It seems Islam does not have impeccable contemporary primary sources from the time of the advent of Islam and the Prophet till much later, decades later, when first accounts of history and hadith started to be written down from oral memory.

 

A new Karen Armstrong book has come out and I can't wait to start on it. I ordered it straightaway and hopefully will get it in day or two.

 

Fields_of_Blood.jpg

 

 

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The Counter-Revolution of 1776 - Slave Resistance and the Origin of the United States of America 

 

"The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 drives us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States."

 

post-74619-0-04866200-1417311057.jpg

Edited by skylight2

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I finished reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.  I'd say it was an uplifting but not very informative (for me) read.  It would be most beneficial for someone who either is struggling to "fit in" as an introvert in an extroverted society, or who is an extroverted spouse or parent of an introverted individual and is struggling to understand that person's motivations.  It was well enough written that I wanted to carry through to the end, and I certainly felt validated by the reading, but I'm pretty comfortable with myself already so I wouldn't call it life changing.  

 

Next up:

 

This one for enjoyment

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345539435/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

'cause I like that science stuff.

 

And this one for information:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393067084/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm currently home-schooling a 12-year-old due to the schools around here being substandard, and thinking of home schooling my preschool age child too, and if my usually honor roll high school age son doesn't pass his classes, I'm going to pull him out and home school him too.  In spite of being unsure of my abilities to meet his autism related special educational needs, the schools here are so far failing him severely.  

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I finished reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.  I'd say it was an uplifting but not very informative (for me) read.  It would be most beneficial for someone who either is struggling to "fit in" as an introvert in an extroverted society, or who is an extroverted spouse or parent of an introverted individual and is struggling to understand that person's motivations.  It was well enough written that I wanted to carry through to the end, and I certainly felt validated by the reading, but I'm pretty comfortable with myself already so I wouldn't call it life changing.  

 

Next up:

 

This one for enjoyment

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345539435/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

'cause I like that science stuff.

 

And this one for information:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393067084/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm currently home-schooling a 12-year-old due to the schools around here being substandard, and thinking of home schooling my preschool age child too, and if my usually honor roll high school age son doesn't pass his classes, I'm going to pull him out and home school him too.  In spite of being unsure of my abilities to meet his autism related special educational needs, the schools here are so far failing him severely.  

Any piece of advice from your read for introverts!

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Any piece of advice from your read for introverts!

 

Yes.  Be yourself and emphasize your strengths!  Sometimes you might have to pretend to be someone else, but recognize that it is just a temporary necessity and don't attempt to internalize it because it will make you burn out.  Take time to do the things you most enjoy, and don't spend more time than is necessary with people who drain you emotionally.

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Have been lurking in this topic forever, even posted a long time ago. I have a paperback book, An Oral History of Tahlequah and the Cherokee Nation. I've owned the book almost two years and have not read it yet. Knowing my own family's history, has made me reluctant to start reading something that might trigger an emotional response. Today I opened it and just looked at the photos and some of the bold headings. The Introduction says the stories "capture a part of the history, color and humor of the great Cherokee Nation, from the days of legend to modern times." That does sound positive. I'm glad I read the Introduction.

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Back to this book http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0553380168/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/187-2210644-9972116

It is beautiful book, it reminded me of the sensation of reading fairy tales in childhood. The author jumps with you in miles through history and physics. If younwere/are not into physics, it might sound gibberish to you. The author made newton's laws to seem sophisticated which means either one of two : the author has sophisticated mind or I have rusty brain.

But non the less, it is great pleasure to get back to science related books.

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Finished reading this a week ago:

Extra-Orwell-1984-008.jpg

 

 

It is not often that I read novels anymore, and my infrequent foray in to the fictional world always leaves me questioning my limited fictional readings. In truth, a fictional piece can uncover many facets about reality like a philosophical or scientific work, and sometimes in even more subtler and accurate ways, for the author is not bound by the rigidity of terms and arguments, and can draw on the depths of human experience, from the beginning of civilization till today. I decided to read this book on a mere fancy, unaware of what the book was about, nor whom the author really was and his background. All I had known was that the book was considered an all time great and was heavily praised by many people.

Orwell's 1984 is a startling insight into the dynamics, thought process and structure of a society whereby an elite power is in complete control. It may be argued quite strongly, that we today witness many of the elements described in the book, to varying degrees, and that for any power to reside permanently, it must exert the different ways described in the book.

The book describes a man - Winston Smith - who lives in a society controlled by a few powerful elite who dictate absolutely everything that goes on: history is radically rewritten to suit their agenda, the food is rationed, the economy is manipulated and most incredibly the language is distorted and reduced so that the number of concepts that one can think of is limited.

Winston Smith's job is to meticulously re write any pieces produced in the past which do not conform to the party's goals. History, thus has no objective reality but fluctuates according to interests. Worse still, party members are taught to exercise 'doublethink' where they consciously forget the real event and then forget the very act of forgetting! This is an incredible tactic employed by powers, whereby the lie is told so convincingly such that even those who are aware of it begin to forget its falsity.

Perhaps the most fascinating element of this incredible work is the author's depiction of the 'proles' - i.e the working class - in that they are the protagonist's main hope but in reality they are too powerless to revolt. The party employs a wide variety of the methods to keep them perpetually distracted; they distribute music and pornographic material amongst other content to keep the lowest class in a lull where they are not even remotely aware of the injustices committed against them. This seemed like a chilling prophecy by Orwell, given how large these particular industries are in today's world and the power they exert.

This book had many other gems like the role of war in maintaining the elite's power, the distribution of classes and wealth, the reason behind scarce resources, the power of the mind etc. To delve into these would render this review far too long than it already is.

This book, being both entertaining and astute is a worthy read. I have very little idea yet what inspired such a work and the author's political and social background, but the power of this novel resonated within me and I feel compelled to read it again sometime in the future. I am also very excited to read his other works when possible.

 

Edited by InfiniteAscension

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Finished reading this a week ago:

Extra-Orwell-1984-008.jpg

 

 

It is not often that I read novels anymore, and my infrequent foray in to the fictional world always leaves me questioning my limited fictional readings. In truth, a fictional piece can uncover many facets about reality like a philosophical or scientific work, and sometimes in even more subtler and accurate ways, for the author is not bound by the rigidity of terms and arguments, and can draw on the depths of human experience, from the beginning of civilization till today. I decided to read this book on a mere fancy, unaware of what the book was about, nor whom the author really was and his background. All I had known was that the book was considered an all time great and was heavily praised by many people.

Orwell's 1984 is a startling insight into the dynamics, thought process and structure of a society whereby an elite power is in complete control. It may be argued quite strongly, that we today witness many of the elements described in the book, to varying degrees, and that for any power to reside permanently, it must exert the different ways described in the book.

The book describes a man - Winston Smith - who lives in a society controlled by a few powerful elite who dictate absolutely everything that goes on: history is radically rewritten to suit their agenda, the food is rationed, the economy is manipulated and most incredibly the language is distorted and reduced so that the number of concepts that one can think of is limited.

Winston Smith's job is to meticulously re write any pieces produced in the past which do not conform to the party's goals. History, thus has no objective reality but fluctuates according to interests. Worse still, party members are taught to exercise 'doublethink' where they consciously forget the real event and then forget the very act of forgetting! This is an incredible tactic employed by powers, whereby the lie is told so convincingly such that even those who are aware of it begin to forget its falsity.

Perhaps the most fascinating element of this incredible work is the author's depiction of the 'proles' - i.e the working class - in that they are the protagonist's main hope but in reality they are too powerless to revolt. The party employs a wide variety of the methods to keep them perpetually distracted; they distribute music and pornographic material amongst other content to keep the lowest class in a lull where they are not even remotely aware of the injustices committed against them. This seemed like a chilling prophecy by Orwell, given how large these particular industries are in today's world and the power they exert.

This book had many other gems like the role of war in maintaining the elite's power, the distribution of classes and wealth, the reason behind scarce resources, the power of the mind etc. To delve into these would render this review far too long than it already is.

This book, being both entertaining and astute is a worthy read. I have very little idea yet what inspired such a work and the author's political and social background, but the power of this novel resonated within me and I feel compelled to read it again sometime in the future. I am also very excited to read his other works when possible.

 

 

I also found the book extremely insightful. So much so that when I hear people speaking rubbish, the word "prole" comes to my mind immediately lol. 

 

Also, I've just begun reading Animal Farm by Orwell. Will let you know my take on it insha'Allah. 

Edited by Kamranistan

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(salam)

 

Today I read The Battle Behind the Bars published by the Navy. It is a summary/"lessons learned" from the experiences of American POWs during the Vietnam War.

 

It is online, PDF.

 

Example; What do you say under torture to the question: "What are the names of the people in your squadron.?"

 

Answer: recite the offensive line of the Green Bay Packers -Sen. John McCain did.

 

 

And these servicemen were not waterboarded, but were "rope tortured", starved, beatened, etc.

 

So much for Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

Edited by hasanhh

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I was at chapters yesterday and finally picked up copies of;  'A universe from nothing, by Lawrence Krauss' and 'The orgin of species by Charles Darwin'. At the same time, currently reading through and finishing 'Usul Al-Hadith by Bilal Philips'.

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Finished reading this a week ago:

Extra-Orwell-1984-008.jpg

 

 

 

As much as I like 1984, I still think it is more like a startling caricature of totalitarianism that came to characterise many countries in the last century than an exploration of the human psyche that created and sustained that system. For a much better work that goes to the heart of the matter, I'd recommend the following novel for anyone wanting to see laid bare the inner contradictions of totalitarianism and the mechanism by which it works with those contradictions.

 

I read it earlier this year and wrote a review of it for my blog a few days ago. I produce it below for anyone interested.

 

jokkk.jpg

 

(First published 1967; translated from the Czech by various including the author himself)

 

I read it as part of a set of debut novels by novelists who later became major names in contemporary literature. I have been a fan of Kundera since I read his insightful expositions on the art of novel and on the nature of art in general.

 

The politics of Communist rule in 1950s Czechoslovakia forms the background of this novel. The protagonist, himself a budding Communist student, is expunged from the party and kicked out of the university to be sent to slave away in the mines run by the military. Why? He unwittingly made a joke, in an annoyed letter to his girlfriend, on Communist politics and leaders. Her dedicated and mirthless Communist girlfriend took it to be a sacrilege – a blasphemy of religious proportions – and reported him to the authorities.

 

The story revolves around his attempts to come to terms with the turn his fate has taken as he languishes in a military camp in a battalion to which are assigned the most dangerous anti-state elements - mandatory serving in the Communist army as a punishment for their crimes. But he finds out that dissenters had been put their for petty reasons: for not supporting wholeheartedly and enthusiastically one of the policies of the Communist regime; and another is punished simply as a preemptive measure because his father is an oppositional activist.

 

When he regains limited freedom after a few years of hard labour at the military camp, writhing in hate for what his life has become, he launches himself on a campaign to take revenge on another of his friends who had him voted out of the university and the party and who in effect authored his subsequent travails. This is where I think the novel becomes somewhat thin, and ends abruptly. His personal philosophy suffers a painful realisation and makes him do something he wasn’t planning.

 

It’s a good debut novel in that it goes beyond the usual noisy political sloganeering found in novels that deal with highly charged political subject matter, such as Orwell’s 1984, and delves deeper into the mysteries of totalitarian political collective on a psychological level.

 

Jokes – a hint of non-seriousness – contends Kundera, is a mysterious and powerful dissenting tool, and any power, be it religious or political - any philosophy - which has appointed itself to the duty of answering all the world's problems, of launching itself on the reform of the mankind in earnest, is greatly threatened by it, and can’t tolerate it.

 

In the case of the hero of our novel, the Communist regime elevated a pathetic half-serious joke to the same status as of dangerous anti-state activity when, at the military camp, the authorities assigned him to a battalion reserved for top level dissenters – and this for us is the real joke.

 

My rating 4/5

Edited by Marbles

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ilyich.jpg

 

For those scared of the size of Tolstoy’s stellar works like ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’, this novella may be a good starting point as an introduction to the art of Tolstoy. Set in imperial Russia at a time when every aspiring person seemed to measure their success through their rank or office in the Russian civil service, it is an excellent critique of the elite’s aspirations, the suffocating formality of their lifestyles, of their being beholden to positions and job titles.

 

At the same time it’s a meditation on the fickleness of life people spend too much time decorating, and making big of one’s achievements. Only just when the middle-aged Ivan Ilyich feels he has made it in life and now can relax away his years in service at a higher position, he is visited by an illness that kills him in pain and misery. His unsuccessful fight against the illness forms most of the narrative of the novella, with frequent retrospectie meditations on his identity, his position, his achievements, and how he ought to be happy at where he has reached in life, but is he happy?

 

His colleagues receive the news of his death perfunctorily, feeling sorry for the poor devil, and immediately launch upon a discussion as to how Ivan Ilyich’s death might have affected the chain of promotions in the hierarchy of the civil service.

 

How once Ivan Ilyich seemed indispensable to everything – his work, family, friends – but was easily castaway from memory of things soon after his death. This story has a moralistic side to it too, as a critique of the love for the mundane, since it was written after Tolstoy’s famous reversion to Christianity.

 

First published in Russian 1886

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